The Revised APTA Code of Ethics for the Physical Therapist and Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant: Theory, Purpose, Process, and Significance
Swisher, Laura Lee
Physical therapy 2010 May ; 90(5): 803-24
INTRODUCTION: In June 2009, the House of Delegates (HOD) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) passed a major revision of the APTA Code of Ethics for physical therapists and the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant. The revised documents will be effective July 1, 2010. PURPOSE: The purposes of this article are: (1) to provide a historical, professional, and theoretical context for this important revision; (2) to describe the 4-year revision process; (3) to examine major features of the documents; and (4) to discuss the significance of the revisions from the perspective of the maturation of physical therapy as a doctoring profession. PROCESS OF REVISION: The process for revision is delineated within the context of history and the Bylaws of APTA. FORMAT, STRUCTURE, AND CONTENT OF REVISED CORE ETHICS DOCUMENTS: The revised documents represent a significant change in format, level of detail, and scope of application. Previous APTA Codes of Ethics and Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Physical Therapist Assistant have delineated very broad general principles, with specific obligations spelled out in the Ethics and Judicial Committee's Guide for Professional Conduct and Guide for Conduct of the Physical Therapist Assistant. In contrast to the current documents, the revised documents address all 5 roles of the physical therapist, delineate ethical obligations in organizational and business contexts, and align with the tenets of Vision 2020. SIGNIFICANCE: The significance of this revision is discussed within historical parameters, the implications for physical therapists and physical therapist assistants, the maturation of the profession, societal accountability and moral community, potential regulatory implications, and the inclusive and deliberative process of moral dialogue by which changes were developed, revised, and approved.
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New Perspectives on the Theory of Justice: Implications for Physical Therapy Ethics and Clinical Practice Edwards, Ian; Delany, Clare M; Townsend, Anne F; Swisher, Laura Lee (2011-11)Recent revisions of physical therapy codes of ethics have included a new emphasis concerning health inequities and social injustice. This emphasis reflects the growing evidence regarding the importance of social determinants ...